François-Xavier Roth

Richard Strauss: Tone Poems, Vol. 2 - Till Eulenspiegel, Don Quixote, Macbeth

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François-Xavier Roth has established himself as one of the leading conductors in the field of historical performance practice, most notably with his hand-picked original instruments ensemble, Les Siècles. Yet he is also the principal conductor of the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, which he leads here in performances of Richard Strauss' Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, Don Quixote, and Macbeth. The orchestra plays modern instruments and Roth delivers mainstream interpretations that nonetheless show his close attention to details and abiding interest in instrumental sonorities. The tone colors in Till Eulenspiegel and Don Quixote are extraordinarily vivid and distinctive in Hänssler's recordings, and the musicians' handling of articulation, accentuation, and phrasing show the same meticulousness that Roth demands in all his performances. Especially admirable is the clear separation of parts, so every aspect of Strauss' rich scoring and sometimes dense counterpoint is transparent. This is the second volume in Roth's series of Strauss' tone poems, following the 2013 release of exceptional performances of Ein Heldenleben and Tod und Verklärung. As this series continues, Strauss fans and newcomers to his music should seek out every album because of the sheer excellence of the playing.

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